I’ve always been fascinated at the story in John 5 of Jesus healing the man by the pool of Bethesda. He was an invalid and had been lying around the pool in this condition for 38 years.
An Angel would come and stir the waters of the pool and the first one to step into the water would be healed.
The Lord asked the man if he wanted to be healed.
“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
When Jesus healed this man he also delivered him from self-pity. He not only said to walk Jesus also said pick up his mat. In other words, stop agreeing with the lie that you are a victim. He was healed but also delivered from a poverty mindset that day!
But there is something further that we learn in this story. There is a piece of extreme wisdom that we sometimes overlook in this story. Later Jesus found him in the temple and he said to the man, “I see that you are better, now stop sinning or something worse is going to happen to you.”
Did you know that?
Did you know that if you continue to sin after being healed or delivered that something worse could happen to you?
Whenever God heals us or delivers us, He means for it to open the door to us becoming more holy. It is meant to untie our hands and make a way for us to take a step toward the Lord and become like Him.
Whenever we use a moment of healing or deliverance to make ourselves feel better and simply say “Thanks Lord.” But we never use it to draw close to the Lord… it is then that we become like the man at the pool of Bethesda. We have become self-centered. We have become like those who are entitled.
I have seen many people throughout my deliverance ministry be really glad that God helped them to feel better through the power of deliverance. But they never use it to become more holy. They don’t really change their ways. They go on sinning because they have a self-centered attitude.
They believe that God is here to serve them. They believe that they deserve deliverance and healing because they are children of God. This kind of attitude is full of pride and hypocrisy.
No one deserves deliverance and healing. It IS a free gift to us because of what Christ did on the Cross. But it is obvious through the healing of the man in John 5 that we still have a responsibility after a deliverance or healing to use the gift to become closer to God.
Unfortunately many squander this gift with the attitude of entitlement and in many instances I have seen something worse happen to them.
On occasion, I have had the Lord tell me to stop praying for deliverance for specific people because it would lead to them to more destruction. Their hearts wanted their own way…they wanted to keep on sinning.
There will be people in hell who were delivered and healed by the Lord in this life. God healed them or delivered them in the hopes of getting them to repent and allow the holy, living presence of God to change their hearts.
In essence, all they wanted was what God could give them. They didn’t really want God.
The way to check yourself on this terrible self-centered attitude is to ask yourself this question:
Are you seeking the hand of God for what He can give you?
Or are you seeking the face of God because you want to become like Him?